PantheaCon update, and some Links of Note

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  February 19, 2011 — 9 Comments

To a certain extent, writing about PantheaCon in San Jose can in no way capture the energy and scope of the event. Friday has been a blur of reunions, meetings, conversations, missed connections, and intense socializing. For me, aside from the enjoyable time I had connecting with my co-religionists, Friday was a day of meet-and-greets. First, the Covenant of the Goddess meet-and-greet, where founders and new members convened, shared stories, and went over the history of the organization. Then, I had the pleasure of  attending the joint Solar Cross / New Alexandrian Library meet-and-greet, where discussions of building Pagan infrastructure was a key element in several interactions. All these organizations are working towards building something for our communities that last beyond their founders, and serve modern Pagans for generations to come.

Today, I’m personally immersed into several scheduled events, I’m coordinating a special meet-and-greet for the Pagan Newswire Collective, participating in a panel on Pagans in the media led by journalist and podcaster Devin Hunter, and after a special screening of “American Mystic”, I will be conducting a Q&A  with director Alex Mar, Morpheus Ravenna, and members of Stone City Pagan Sanctuary. I’m working with the PantheaCon media staff to get as much recorded for posterity as I can, and plan to share as much audio and video here as I’m able.

Before I end this update from the convention, I wanted to share a few links of note that I’m not able to give my full attention to, but hope to explore in greater depth once I return to civilization. First, John W. Morehead, takes on questionable “occult expert” Don Rimer in a lengthy post that examines Rimer’s materials and his problematic attitudes towards the “occult”.

“After my exchanges with Mr. Rimer I thought I would solicit feedback from academic colleagues of mine who specialize in these areas, as well as representatives from the religious communities and identity subcultures who are knowledgeable about the issues, and Rimer’s views on the matter. Without exception, everyone confirmed my suspicions. In fact, while Rimer has had some contact with those in the Pagan community, I could not track down anyone willing to agree that he accurately describes Paganism, and his claims about learning from vampires may be limited to magazine articles and random conversations at vampire clubs as well as newspaper articles on alleged “vampire killings,” hardly the stuff of good ethnographic research and scholarly study.”

You can read all of my past posts regarding Rimer, here. Rest assured that I’ll be coming back to this particular issue.

Next, the Phoenix New Times takes and in-depth look at the controversial Phoenix Goddess Temple, where controversy over whether it’s a legitimate religious order, or simply a front for sexual services rages amongst the local community.

“Practitioners at this self-styled church near 24th Street and Thomas Road say that what they do is sacred work to balance energy and heal people, and Clayton really seems to believe it — at least enough to let New Times watch two of his all-too-revealing sessions.”

I’ve covered this temple before, and I really wish I had the time to sit down and truly explore the issues raised here, so consider this link a place-holder for a longer post later, as I think some important, and potentially problematic, issues and being played out.

Finally, check out this trailer for a new documentary “Kypris – The Aphrodite of Cyprus Revealed,” about 12 women in Cyprus trying to “revive the ancient art of the frame drum, sacred to the worship of Aphrodite.”

To find out more, and help support this documentary, check out their web site. As I hear more on this, I’ll be sure to share it.

That’s all I have time for, so have a great day, and I’ll update as I can!

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Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Celestial Elf

    Great Post..
    thought you might like my Eostre/Equinox machinima with Lisa Thiel's lovely Ostara song
    bright blessings ~

  • Ed Hubbard

    Have Fun, I think it must be a amazing event. I am so sorry I have never made it.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    It's good to see Don Rimer get some critical attention.

  • George

    PantheaCon is looking really great this year!

    Regarding this Phoenix Goddess Temple – take a look at the page for one of their healers.

    Somehow I don't think that she's your run-of-the-mill healer. Maybe she'll work on your root chakra, though –

  • Larry Zaracon Sodders

    as a special note of interest for the conference i would love to interview some folks that are able to be in San Jose on the Pagans Tonight Show this weekend we are on a 7pm pacific time if anyone wants to call in with a report our call in is 347-308-8222 this would be a great way to share the historic PantheaCon atmosphere thanks Zaracon

  • chuck_cosimano

    He needs to get some comedic attention. If he can be turned into a laughing stock it won't matter what he says.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    His website is pretty comedic, for those with a robust sense of humor. I became Pagan in the mid/late 1980s and of course immediately became aware of this kind of stuff, and Rimer's content is no different!

    He's got a "how to tell if your kids are dabbling" list and, sure enough, it betrays its DNA link to those "how to tell if your kids are on drugs" lists 40 years ago. He lists a few symptoms of general adolescence and several indicia of serious mess-ups but all but a few could be old "your brain on drugs" agitprop.

  • whateley23

    To clarify, is your position on the Phoenix Goddess Temple something along the lines that "any expression of sexuality in a sacred context is automatically merely prurient", or do you have something else in mind?

    For myself, I have no currently strong position on the matter, but this issue does interest me as I've known a few people in the sex industry in various capacities, and one friend has practiced at the Phoenix Temple specifically.

  • Wendy

    The video from Cyprus is great. The drumming there was initiated by Layne Redmond (and you can see several of the women playing her signature drums. At the end of the video they are playing Rattlesnake, one of Layne's compositions). She has led several tours to Cyprus among other places, and spent some time teaching drumming to the local women. She is also the author of the book When the Drummers Were Women. I took drumming classes from her in the 90s – she is fabulous.